Why Masturbation Is Every Woman's Secret Self-Care Weapon

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Think about it. We have an organ—the clitoris—that requires nothing more than some focused rubbing to inspire not just waves of pleasure but also all sorts of health benefits. Orgasm is a natural pain reliever, stress reducer, muscle relaxer, mood lifter, sleep inducer, and warm-fuzzy creator.

Yes, women can achieve orgasm through sex. But having sex involves—or at least should involve—the desires and interests of all parties present. That means focusing on your partner and not just on yourself.

But that’s what women do all the time. Every day. Family. Friends. Work. Weekdays. Weekends. Women are caretakers, and we spend most of our time taking care of everyone but ourselves.

You know how on an airplane they remind you to first put on your own oxygen mask before helping others? This is the same thing—the same exact thing. Masturbation is about doing our best for ourselves, if for no other reason than because we want to do our best for others.

In other words, if you won’t get yourself off for yourself, do it for the people you love!

I’m only sort of kidding about that.

Pleasure is something we owe to ourselves. Without it, what do we really have? It’s the one thing no one can take away from you. Ever. You can lose all your worldly goods and everyone you love, but your body is yours.

It’s like a safety net of sorts. It’s like an ace in the hole. The extra dollar in your back pocket. You can have a lousy day, a lousy week. A relationship fail. Your dog can run away from home. Your girlfriend can leave you for someone new. But—barring certain unforeseen circumstances—no one can take away your ability to give yourself pleasure.

Why is that so important? Because when we find pleasure in our bodies, we find ourselves. I know. I know. Feels a little ooey-gooey, woo-woo, hokey, all that. But it isn’t. And the fact that we think it is is at the very heart of the problem.

Female pleasure is vital. Female self-pleasure is imperative. We have to know our bodies and trust our bodies and have faith in our bodies.

Do me a favor. Take note of how you’re feeling right now. Happy? Sad? Anxious? Tired? Are you buying what you’re reading? Feeling skeptical? Whatever it is, take note. Now, if you can—go masturbate. Seriously. Right now. If you can’t, mark this page and try this experiment later. I’ll ask you to give it a go several times throughout this book.

After you masturbate, take note of how you’re feeling. Happy? Relaxed? Without worry? Empowered? A little emboldened? Self-assured? Sex-high? Peaceful?

You see what I’m getting at, of course. No matter what else is going on in your world, masturbating can bring you back to center and help you to remember what is important and what is noise.

And most importantly, masturbation helps to remind women who we belong to—no one but ourselves.

We don’t owe anyone anything, ever. We can choose what we do with our bodies and when and with whom. The only people we owe anything to are ourselves. We owe ourselves pleasure. We deserve to be at home in our bodies and to derive our power from those bodies. That’s what they’re there for.

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Excerpted from The Ultimate Guide to Solo Sex: All You Need to Know About MasturbationCleis Press, available now.

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